by Alison Coplen of Superior Interiors, Mallorca
Beige is a neutral, maybe even “the” neutral, described as a light brown colour that might also be called taupe, tan, camel or even caramel. In fact, just about any very light shade of brown could be referred to as beige. Beige is called a neutral because it is neither warm nor cold and it matches nearly everything. While other neutrals like black and white could make bold statements when it comes to interior design, beige is a better choice if you prefer subtle looks.
When the trend for Neutrals became popular and nearly every client I saw was asking for makeovers in the natural colourings, I eventually found it very bland, I zoned out mentally as there was no challenge or excitement in the decorating process for me. I realised that the choice was mostly a desire to keep the home simplistic and calming and even with a big range of fabrics to choose from I did, dare I say it, become bored at times. I had tried to embrace it and even bought the fabric to recover my own sofa’s in a light cream, I took it home to double check when it arrived but when I laid it on the sofa and stood back I could not go through with it and continued with my personal love of a bit of drama.
The fabric choice began to diminish with my suppliers, the designers were attempting to bring a bit of drama back in and phase the neutral out , prints were bold and bright, but it did not last, by what must have been popular demand the choice began to return when I viewed collections, and now I have a much broader selection, but the past couple of season’s have shown a wonderful introduction with textures and combinations. beautiful mixes with natural textures of linen’s and silks and fabulous velvets, faux suede’s and leather’s. The shades are so rich that beige is now never boring.
Helpful hints with the Naturals:
One of the tricks to decorating with beige and creating interest is to choose different shades of beige. You can choose a rich, camel coloured carpet or rug and match that with beige walls that are so light they are almost cream coloured. You can draw attention to the colour in the walls by adding trim that is a milky, white shade. You can also add visual interest to your room by choosing beige features with patterns. You can put up a beige damask wallpaper and match that with a beige, striped couch. These patterns will be subtle but make your room look luxurious.
Shades of beige are not the only choices when going neutral. Greys and even blues have entered the neutral category recently.
Mushroom tones, taupe’s, a pale limestone colour or grey If you find the right grey, it really looks good with camel. You can play with that layering effect
Include the dark neutrals, which can create drama.
You might not think of blue as a neutral, but it just depends on the shade.
Paint can date so fast, now we are seeing a lot of grey. It seemed like chocolate was big for a long time, but now it seems that Grey tones are coming back.
A serene paint palette can be brought to life with a mixture of texture and metallic finishes. Play with texture and shimmer in order to create excitement in a neutral space.
Choosing the right colours makes all the difference because it causes less work in the long run.
To avoid a monochromatic colour scheme, bumping the colour of your wall up or down one shade on the colour wheel to create a 3-D effect. On a wall, use a lighter colour on top and a darker colour on the bottom. The two shades maintain the neutral palette and create contrast.
When you get right neutrals together, it really has this great effect of feeling timeless and sophisticated but still casual.
If you have too much beige in your room, for example, your walls, flooring and furniture are all beige, you risk making your space look drab. You can brighten up your rooms and make them look sunnier by adding white to the beige. For example, if you already have beige flooring and beige walls, buy white furniture. This will give your home a beachy feel and make it look cleaner. You can also add black accessories. Add a mirror with a big black frame or some black wooden tables and chairs you your beige room. You can also add black scatter pillows to your seating.
Every room needs a little bit of bling. By using unique finishes like tile, or wallpaper infused with textured beading, neutral shades can feel very glamorous. Bring in bits of colour with gold leafing, copper and gold.
Different combinations of fabrics are very important if you are going to go all neutral in a room. A textured rug, silk pillows, even in the same cream tone, will look different. Mixing the same colour in different textures creates a unique feel